Texting While Driving Is At An All-Time High And Getting Worse

Posted: Apr 16 2018, 10:45pm CDT | by , Updated: Apr 16 2018, 11:25pm CDT, in News | Technology News

 
Texting While Driving Is at an All-Time High and Getting Worse
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We know that it's a problem, but despite all the information available, the problem isn't getting any better. Where is texting and driving the biggest problem, and is there anything we can do to stop this accident epidemic?

The biggest problem on the roads today doesn't have anything to do with cars themselves — it has to do with the drivers and what they're doing behind the wheel. Texting and driving is at an all-time high with roughly one out of every four car accidents in the United States directly caused by texting behind the wheel.

We know that it's a problem, but despite all the information available, the problem isn't getting any better. Where is texting and driving the biggest problem, and is there anything we can do to stop this accident epidemic?

The Worst States for Texting and Driving

The number of drivers staring at their phones instead of watching the road is growing every single year. Rhode Island is the worst state in the country for phones in the car. Roughly 7.74 percent of a driver's time in the state is spent on the phone — an almost 40 percent increase from the year before.

Texas is almost as bad, with drivers spending just under seven percent of their driving time on the phone. Vermont and California come in next, with drivers spending about six and a half percent of their time on their phones. California drivers are spending more than 50 percent more time on their phones than the previous year.

What Can We Do?

What can we do to prevent drivers from using their phones in the car, or at least discourage them from texting and driving?

Some states are implementing harsher fines. For example, there’s a $10,000 maximum fine for texting while driving in Alaska. But in most states, the average fine for this infraction is only around $100, not enough to discourage the average driver.

Hands-free peripherals or vehicle integration are supposed to make using your phone while driving safer, but a 2010 study found that using hands-free devices made little to no difference in the number of accidents when compared to those just using their hands.

29 states have implemented laws where you can be pulled over and cited for texting if it is your primary offense. They don't have to wait for you to swerve into traffic or cause an accident before they ticket you.

There are even apps that you can download to keep you from texting and driving in your car. While most are designed for parents to prevent new drivers from texting behind the wheel, you can shut them off, which makes them less than effective.

The Driver’s Responsibility

Even with the laws and fines in place, texting and driving is continuing to be a growing problem. When it comes down to it, it's up to the driver to make the conscious choice to put down or turn off the cell phone when they get behind the wheel. Nothing is important enough to make you take your eyes off the road when you're driving — shut off the phone and get to your destination safely.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/56" rel="author">Scott Huntington</a>
Scott Huntington is a writer and journalist from Harrisburg PA who covered movies, tech, cars, and more. Check out his blog Off The Throttle or follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington.

 

 

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